Why Lawn Care is Green

Photo: iStockphoto.com/georgeclerk
Plant grass seed to clean the air, prevent soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gases.

After a long summer of maintaining your lawn you may be asking yourself if it's worth the effort to continue. I think it is because of the substantial environmental benefits offered by grass. Grass gets a bad rap because of all the bad things we put on it — including pesticides and fertilizers — but lawns themselves are not inherently bad for the environment. Here’s how they help:

  • Turf serves as a natural air conditioner. On a hot day, compare the difference between standing on pavement and standing on turf.
  • Turf traps dust and smoke particles and acts as a filter for the air we breathe.
  • Grass offers a very efficient and inexpensive erosion control function. Turf intercepts raindrops before they disturb the soil, and promotes water percolation rather than runoff. Streams and drainage infrastructure would be absolutely overwhelmed if not for turf's water-retention capabilities.
  • Grass plants capture and use greenhouse gases, thereby counteracting climate change. Turf also traps air pollution and generates much of the oxygen we breathe. A 50 x 50 ft lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe for one year.
  • Lawns increase the value of a property by 15 to 20 per cent, improving curb appeal.

This is the best time of year to start a new lawn from seed or to lay sod. The cooler temperatures combined with heavy morning dew provide ideal conditions for grass-seed germination. When starting a new lawn, be sure to sow seed or lay the sod on a minimum 5 cm bed of triple mix. Sow one pound of seed per 400 square feet, rake smooth and water well.

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